As it’s already over half way through the year, now is a good time to review your lifestyle and make some positive changes to benefit your health and wellbeing. Many of us have goals which involve being more active and the challenge can be how to stay motivated and maintain the momentum. With this in mind, here are five top benefits of regular exercise, to ensure you stay on track and achieve your fitness goals.

Looking and feeling good

Exercise can help to revitalise your energy and improve your physical health as well as helping to keep your mind active by developing new skills, such as mindfulness or improved co-ordination. Cardiovascular activity especially can promote the release of endorphins in the body which help us feel happier and calmer.

If you enjoy dance-based exercise then Clubbercise® and DanceFit® classes are available to book at Derby Arena. Clubbercise® is a fun, easy-to-follow dance workout with rave glow sticks and disco lights accompanied by Club anthems from the 90s to today’s hits. DanceFit® is a low-impact class using different types of dance from hip-hop to Latin to improve your fitness levels.

Derby Arena also offers both track cycling and group studio cycling sessions, using Watt bikes which are designed for everyone – from beginners to serious cyclists. These sessions incorporate mixed terrains including hills, mountains and speed work. Keen cyclists and novices alike can enjoy using the velodrome at Derby Arena, a 250m indoor cycle track which also offers training and women only sessions.

Enjoying the great outdoors

Summer is a fantastic time to visit Derby’s award-winning parks with family and friends and get involved in the activities on offer.

Derby has many parks for local people to enjoy, across all areas of the city which have footpaths that allow access for everyone to enjoy a brisk walk. Cycle paths are available and regular Park runs take place at Markeaton Park throughout the year, so there’s no excuse not to stay active.

If you’re a nature lover, why not join David Bennett, a Carsington Water bird walk leader on a bird walk through Markeaton Park on Sunday 19 August at 10.30am for only £4. Find out more about parks to explore in Derby on the Derby Parks website

Those who enjoy playing golf or, would like to give it a try can practice at Allestree Park’s 18-hole Golf course. Now is the perfect time to try golf, as the sun is out and the green looks more inviting than ever, for just £5! Find out more about this Summer offer at Derby Active website

Building better relationships

Spending time exercising with your loved ones can help to develop stronger bonds by enjoying a shared experience together. Exercising with a friend or family member can be an enjoyable way to spend time together supporting each other to achieve your goals.

Meeting new people

Trying new forms of exercise can introduce you to a new social circle and help you meet like-minded people who share your outlook and goals.

If you enjoy exercising with your pooch, you can meet fellow dog-owners and get fit at the same time at the Big Fun Run and Dog Jog taking place from 2pm on Saturday 11th August at Markeaton Park. What’s more when you cross the finish line you’ll receive a fantastic doggy bag jam-packed with goodies for you and your dog, as well as Dog Jog Collar Keyring medal! Dog Jog is all about getting involved, having fun and enjoying the great outdoors with your favourite four-legged friend!

Racquet sports are a fun way to be active with friends or colleagues and a bit of friendly competition can also be good for motivation! Badminton, short tennis and racketball can be enjoyed at Derby Arena, squash, racketball, short tennis and badminton are all available at Springwood Leisure Centre. Table tennis is another activity which can help improve hand eye co-ordination as well as being fun for all abilities and is on offer at Derby Arena, Springwood Leisure Centre and Queen’s Leisure Centre during the summer holidays.

Developing resilience

Improving your physical fitness helps you to develop greater strength and flexibility. Activities such as yoga can also improve your sense of balance and by stretching your muscles and joints regularly the risk of injury can be reduced. Exercise has also been proven to provide stress relief by reducing the levels of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline in your body.

Derby Active has a fantastic swim offer, for all the family to enjoy during the school holidays at family splash sessions with floats and pool toys from 1-3pm. The pool is fully open at Queen’s Leisure Centre so a family of four can swim for £9 – Saving up to £5.90. During the school summer holidays join in at the amazing new, Atlantis Splash Run inflatable sessions at Queen’s Leisure Centre. Experience the aqua assault course with giant obstacles and slides, which stretches the length of the Gala pool, providing fun for all the family from aged five and above.

Fitness lane swimming, along with a full class programme including Aqua Fit or ‘aerobics in the water’ are also available at Queen’s Leisure Centre. Aqua Fit is easy on the joints yet tones the muscles, so it’s great if you need to lose weight or have limited mobility. Visit the Derby Active website for the pool programme.

Information about events and things to do in Derby are available on the InDerby website and on the In Derby Facebook page and twitter page.